A Brighton and Hove City Council cabinet member has caused outrage online regarding the government’s decision to tax hot takeaway food by 20%.
Ben Duncan posted a comment on social media website Twitter last Thursday (29 March) to his 1,500-plus followers, saying: “Honestly, who gives a f*** about pasties?”.
The Green councillor has since seen the repercussions of his actions, with former deputy Prime Minister John Prescott rallying up supporters in the Brighton area on Saturday (31 March) at a Pasty Party Protest.
Prescott, dressed as a baker, handed out free sausage rolls, pies and pasties outside a Greggs outlet on North Street in Brighton to local residents. In response to Duncan’s Tweet, Prescott said: “I expect outrageous comments from the Greens. But this is beyond belief. I do think people are really annoyed about this tax. They cut tax for millionaires and put it on pasties. It is fundamentally wrong.
“The government is out of touch. They changed their stance on petrol within three days. We can do it with the Brighton Pasty Campaign.”
Tim Cutress, managing director of Brighton-based Forfars Bakers, told The Argus: “This tax is going to cost my business a quarter of a million pounds every year. We are already going through probably the toughest time since my family started 75 years ago.
"For a city councillor to say that makes me livid. He obviously doesn’t know the first thing about traders – even in his own ward. If he wants to know who cares about this issue, he should speak to worried businesses like us who employ a lot of people.”
JOIN BRITISH BAKER’S CRUSADE
You can join our dedicated campaign, Say NO to the 20% Pie Tax, opposing the government’s decision to place VAT on hot products by:
Liking the Facebook page: Say NO to the 20% Pie Tax
Joining the debate on Twitter: @BritishBaker and hashtag #NOpietax
Signing the e-petition: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32044